In a rapidly changing Fraser Valley real estate market, an experienced realtor is crucial.
“The market is shifting and sellers need to be prepared and understand where prices are going,” explains realtor Michele Cummins, Personal Real Estate Corporation at Cummins Real Estate Group with RE/MAX Little Oak Realty. “If you’re planning to sell, you don’t want to wait and find yourself chasing the market.”
Several factors are affecting what has been a strong seller’s market for several years.
The federal government’s new stress test restricting the debt load home buyers can carry came into affect Jan. 1, typically reducing allowable mortgages by about 15 to 17 per cent, Cummins explains. Because prospective purchasers may have had a 90-day pre-approval in place, the real effects of this change only began to be felt more recently.
Also affecting the Fraser Valley in particular is the expansion of the Foreign Buyers Tax to Abbotsford and Mission, Cummins says. Further, the tax was raised to 20 per cent from 15 per cent, affecting homes sold after Feb. 21.
Finally, the B.C. government’s new speculation tax also applies to residential properties in British Columbia’s largest urban centres – including Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.
“Every five to 10 years, we see a three-year spike in home prices, and now we’ll see a correction to more of a balanced market, or even a buyer’s market,” predicts Cummins, who brings 14 years of experience and a proven record as RE/MAX’s No. 1 selling agent in the Fraser Valley.
That means that smart sellers will find an experienced, knowledgeable realtor to work with – and follow their advice on price point, says Cummins, the only certified luxury home realtor in the Fraser Valley, as well as a certified new home realtor and RE/MAX mentor who helps train others.
Whether you’re looking to earn top dollar when selling or secure the best price as a buyer, you need to build a solid foundation on knowledge and experience. Just as you trust your financial advisor, lawyer and doctor to each of their specialties, your realtor is your licensed and bonded real estate professional.
“A lot of people get stuck chasing the market at this point, which can end up costing them money. If your realtor has a good understanding of the market as it stands now – and where it’s going – you can price your home effectively.”
A calculated marketing plan for your home is also vital, says Cummins, emphasizing that doesn’t necessarily mean a scattered approach. “I do pride myself on my strategic marketing. No matter what type of property we’re listing, my focus is on exposing it to the right market – and the best, most motivated buyer for your property who will bring you the highest dollar.”